07 October 2011

IFJ Welcomes Nobel Peace Prize Award to Yemeni Journalist

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today welcomes the news of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize which was awarded to Yemeni journalist Tawakkul Karman. She shares the prize with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her fellow Liberian Leymah Gbowee "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work." 

"This is excellent news and we warmly congratulate Karman whose tenacity, courage and humanity have been deservedly rewarded," said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President. "This is also the recognition of her remarkable campaign for press freedom in Yemen which the IFJ and our Yemeni affiliate, the Yemeni Journalists' Syndicate of which she is a member, have always supported."

The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the prize to Karman, noting that "In the most trying circumstances, both before and during the "Arab spring", Tawakkul Karman has played a leading part in the struggle for women's rights and for democracy and peace in Yemen."

Karman leads the Yemeni organisation of Women Journalists without Chains which campaigns for press freedom and she supports anti-government protests for democratic change in the country. She was arrested and detained on many occasions as a result of the outspoken criticism of the President Saleh's rule.

The IFJ says her award shows that the Yemeni journalists don't stand alone and that their call for a tolerant and open society in Yemen has strong international support.

"This is an outstanding personal achievement for Kamar as the first Arab woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize," added Beth Costa, IFJ General Secretary. "But her goal to secure peace and fundamental rights to her fellow citizens is an inspiration to journalists and peace loving people across the world."

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 07

The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 131 countries

Yemen, Middle East, Arab World and Middle East, Press Release

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